Steve Bruce reveals how close Newcastle United's Joe White came to making his debut against Manchester United

Joe White was denied his Newcastle United debut by a Bruno Fernandes strike at Old Trafford.

The highly-rated midfielder was named on the bench for Saturday’s game against Manchester United – and Steve Bruce was considering sending the midfielder as his side trailed 2-1.

However, Fernandes’s 80th-minute strike all but ended any hopes of a comeback. The home side added another in added time to win 4-1.

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Asked if he had considered handing White his debut, Bruce told NUFC TV: "Yeah, yeah. We were just at 2-1 thinking ‘how do we change?’. And ‘can we be a bigger threat?’. The third goal is the kick in the teeth, isn’t it. After that, it went away.”

Joe White in action in pre-season.

White – who joined Newcastle from hometown club Carlisle United five years ago – had impressed during the club’s pre-season campaign.

Speaking after a 2-0 win over Burton Albion in July, head coach Bruce said: “He caught the eye, didn’t he?

"We brought him up about 18 months ago before Covid, and he quietly impressed us. And, all of a sudden, they grow all of a sudden, and find a yard of pace, and look bigger and stronger. And he’s certainly done that.

"Over the last couple of games in particular, I’ve been very, very pleased with what I’ve seen.

"Well done to him. The good thing is pre-season’s given me a chance to see him in a game. He can be really pleased with himself. He catches everybody’s eye with his strength, physicality – and the way he handles the ball.”

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